Posts Tagged ‘watts’

Peter Watts Convicted

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Peter Watts was convicted this past Friday of obstructing a border guard. His own post on the matter is so stoic as to verge on the heroic; I seriously doubt were I the one to be punched in the face by a border guard that I’d be as calm and dispassionate as Watts.  Worth noting, too, is that he wasn’t convicted of the assault charge, even though the press continues to report it in those terms. Given that members of the jury have written to Watts expressing their dismay at the wording of the statute under which they were forced to convict him, one can only hope that the judge sees reason, lectures the cops from the bench, and hands Watts a suspended sentence.

One thing I find fascinating about how all this has played out is that it’s very much a Rorshasch test for one’s own proclivities.  The law n’ order anger-management types out there are crowing about how Watts Got What He Deserved, while those who think Uncle Sam Sucks are damning the “stupid” jury for not engaging in jury nullification while they rant on about how awful and corrupt America has become.  I’m certainly not going to claim any special objectivity on this; Watts is a good friend of mine, not to mention the reason I’m in print.  But as the man’s noted in his work, we don’t make as many conscious decisions as we might like to think; we simply ratify decisions already made for us by our subconscious/hindbrains.  Much of the reaction to his own ordeal is a case in point.

2009 Hugos/WorldCon

Monday, August 10th, 2009

I missed the last two days of the 2009 WorldCon due to a friend’s wedding on the west coast, so I had a slightly truncated Montreal experience. At any rate, Gaiman deserves full credit for his second Hugo (though personally I would have rather seen the prize go to Stephenson for ANATHEM). Oh, and apparently I missed the Campbell nomination by one vote!—21 votes to Felix Gilman’s 22. Hey, there’s still next year. . . .

Other highlights:

—Meeting up with Peter Watts again, who I hadn’t seen in over two years. Peter is in many ways the reason I’m published, since he read MIRRORED HEAVENS way back in the day and told me what was wrong with it.  Something about it needing an ending, as I recall.

—Watching Charles Stross and Paul Krugman converse on the problems inherent in predicting the future.  Without those crystal balls, it’s tough.

—Seeing Montreal.  Amazing city.  But how come everyone speaks French?

—Having lunch with Patrick St. Denis of Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist.  Per the above, it was cool to be going around Montreal with a native, and Pat’s sense of humor is my type of dry.

—Reading alongside cyberpunk legend Pat Cadigan.  Not only is her writing awesome, she’s got one hell of a personality.  Lives in London too!

—Seeing Joshua Palmatier again.  Joshua is probably the only professor of mathematics who also writes fantasy; I suppose that beats a history major who writes science fiction . . .

—Catching up with my inimitable agent Jenny Rappaport.  We talked about lots of things, including what I’m going to be working on next.  Watch this space.